Daily Archives: January 10, 2008

I Didn’t Wreck Your Game, Honestly!

Syncaine has something of a rebut to some sentiments expressed in Shut Up We’re Talking #17. He started off by pointing out that for a group talking about PvP, we were pretty PvE oriented.

And he was pretty much right. The cast was an older group and, while I cannot speak for everybody, it was mostly a group influenced heavily at some point by Dungeons and Dragons.

D&D is, of course, all about cooperative PvE (The DM is the environment), so go figure how we all ended up being about PvE.

Again, not speaking for the others, but for me computer role playing games, then MUDs, and now MMOs, were a way to get past the heavy lifting involved with table top role playing games, the throws of the die, the rule checks, the source books, and the need to get three to seven people together in a single room for at least a four hour stretch.

While some of the play flexibility (okay, a lot of the play flexibility) of those days is missing, it still gives me a taste of gaming adventure. And while the greatest amount of fun still seems to require getting five people together for 2-4 hours, at least we can be scattered across the country.

So yes, PvE at the core. That is me, and probably a lot of people like me.

Still I think as a group we had all had some PvP experiences we had enjoyed and none of us are die hard opposed to PvP in general. I even have a post here about how PvP should be the richest play experience available.

And while Syncaine’s article has some good points and some agreement with what we said, as well as some issues with PvE players that are valid, the whole thing lost me with the line, “…you should not force your PvE views on a PvP focused game.” The post then goes on to fret about how the PvE community might “ruin” Warhammer Online.

Not to go full slam on Syncaine, but this is one of my pet peeves.

I shake my head when I see somebody go on about how some other group, PvE’ers in this case, might “ruin the game” by expressing their opinions. (And I have seen this argument pointed at players who like to raid, solo, group, role play, not role play, and so on.)

Let’s face facts. In the end, it is the devs and the company at large creating the game in question which makes that choice. The company can say “no” to people. They often do.

Look at EverQuest. People have been screaming from day one for more solo oriented content. Go to Mobhunter and see what EverQuest Lead Designer Travis “Rashere” McGeathy had to say just a few months back when asked about solo content:

EverQuest is a group-based game, so we don’t specifically design content for soloing.

Holy Crap! In this day and age, in the era of World of Warcraft, when everybody seems to agree that to attract and keep players you need to give them something to do when they cannot find a group, the EverQuest team just says, “No.” Love it or hate it, they have a vision and have pretty much stuck to it for more than eight years now.

And, on the flip side, the team at Origin could have easily decided that Ulitma Online should have been all Felucca and no Trammel, a dark brooding world of danger. If that was the game they wanted to make and you were upset about being ganked every time you stepped out of a safe area, they probably would have told you that perhaps it wasn’t the game for you.

So with Warhammer Online, what it comes down to an essential: Does the team have a vision they believe in and will stick to, and will EA back them up on it?

And, of course, is that vision your PvP dream, my PvE desire, or some third route altogether?

But if it ends up being CareBearHammer Online, make sure you put the blame where it belongs:

On those furries in SecondLife!

On the people who made the game!